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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hooray for MY Princes...........

When the two Royal Princes rolled up their sleeves and helped with protecting people at risk of flooding, they showed their commitment to their people. This was no mere photo opportunity – indeed Princes William and Harry made clear their displeasure at the presence of photographers. Neither were they simply getting in the way; the Royal brothers both have military experience, with Prince Harry still serving in the Army. They worked from 6am to help to protect Datchet in Berkshire. The visit was not announced and the media only got wind of it at 11am. This story speaks of older values.
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There is something that seems right in a timeless sense when the heir to the Throne helps shepherd his people through a traumatic, distressing and dangerous time. Along with the Princes helping out physically, Her Majesty the Queen has also offered help to Somerset farmers with feed and bedding from the Windsor Estate. Not only does this exemplify the rootedness of our Royal Family through its connections with the countryside, but there is also an echo of the decision by George VI and Queen Elizabeth to remain in London during the Blitz. The support is not only practical, but is also a profound moral support to a nation in distress.

As politicians and bureaucrats blame each other the role of Monarchy and the ability for the Royal family to pull us together rather than divide us is yet again demonstrated by the response of our Royal Family to the terrible floods that this nation has been subjected to by the elements.(from British Monarchist society Feb 2014 ver batam. I could not have said it better. )
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When politicians in the UK and in the US are shameless and obviously in the job for the power and status and money, I am never more proud that as a nation England, Great Britain and the Commonwealth can claim such wonderful young men as their own.They have hearts, they have commitment to service and love of country and tradition. They are among the hardest working families in the country. The Queen is a role model who has served her country and people since a very young girl. They are trained to serve. They do not need to, they could sit back and do nothing, many would. They don't. They boys also have great examples in Diana and Charles. Charles especially is devoted to the land and country. Diana was a people person and her talents lay in that direction, the glamour and the glitz were only a small part of her. I admit, I did not like Diana the wife, but she was a terrific mother and I came to admire the mature Diana who gave of herself to many causes. If only, if only she could have been that way sooner. Charles has a love of the quieter life, a farmers life, an artist. The boys have both served in the military as has every member of the family. They actually do the work too. Andrew was in the Falklands war as a pilot. They do not shirk their duty.
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Anyway........my point is that the country should be proud that their future King is not too proud that he can't get down and dirty like everyone else. Reminds me of King Charles ll getting out with buckets and dousing the flames during the great fire of London. Yes I am proud to say they are MY Royal family and I would never trade that for an American citizenship. Ever.......

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shopping, when did food become so expensive?..........

So today was a fun day. Tristen was in a great mood, he was actually a very good boy woo hoo.
First thing this morning after my husband replaced the battery in our van. (why does everything go at once?) We went grocery shopping, I am of that generation who keeps their larder stocked. I have always done so. I think its partly me being a pack rat and part the fact that if anything happens we have enough food to last awhile. I am very uncomfortable when the stock gets low.
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Well that is not my pantry but mine is more stuffed than that. When I had small kids and the world was an uncertain place I kept everything on hand. Well its still uncertain and I still have small kids but I am not so worried by the world anymore. Here in Michigan though we can get cut off for a few days with no power so its best to be prepared.
Anyway, today was the big shopping day........we went to Sam's Club. It came to way over 500 dollars. The girl said "is that a years worth" I said no just a month. Sigh!!! When did food become so expensive? My normal grocery bill is around 400 for the big shop and then we go to the corner store for fresh veggies and whatever else we run out of. My big shop ensures that I have everything on hand to make from scratch recipes and dinners plus a couple of quick meals. I divide the meats up into dinner size meals. When the girl asked me how many in my house and I said just 3 adults and the child. I wondered how we could get through so much food. I was also thanking God we had a card that we could use and not have to worry about not being able to go. Yes I complain about the cost but am truly grateful that God provides when we can not.
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In fact, I feel bad that I even complain about cost. I find that no matter what happens whatever our loss, things seem to even out. We never get ahead, that's true, but always, some way, some how things work out. SO I can not and will not complain. I think I said in a previous post that we have damage in the basement from a broken water pipe. Well, as it happens our deductible is 1000 so with all the damage I am sure that we will not get what we need to repair things. The good part is that my husband can do the repairs himself to save cost. We should get just enough to pay for the carpet and drywall thats about it. SO even though we won't be able to replace the bookshelves that fell apart because of the wetness..... we really didn't want to replace them anyway. I got rid of all the books. It would be nice if it works out that we get just enough to buy a new printer though. That just quit working today.....as well as the car battery. Just because the ceiling in the dining room is now leaking with the melting ice sigh!!!.......I am sure by the time we can fix that (when the snow is off the roof) something will come up, you just wait and see. It always does. So I Praise the Lord that things are good even as things fall apart around us. Roll on Spring.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ice Caves........

This winter has brought some rather odd phenomena to our area. As if we don't get enough visitors in summer, we now have a rush to see the Ice Caves. I have never heard of this before. I am sure its not the first time its happened but it is rare here. In the Upper Peninsula maybe more often. It was the first time I had heard of it there, watching all the people hiking out to see them off Lake Superior and then come to find out we have our own. We have some great local photographers who have no doubt had a great time this year. Here is one of them Ken Scott. Several of his photographs I have shown here.
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What has happened is that the waves have frozen on top of waves and ice has pushed up and frozen in place. After awhile it has formed into caves and 30 foot cliffs of frozen water. I cant see who is in this picture but its a good one and I think that its Lydia and Tobin but can not see the other person?. Great picture and so glad you got to see these caves, what a fun winter for you.
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You can see the difference, this one was taken up on Lake Superior at the Pictured Rocks. You can see the sandstone cave with the ice curtain
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The picture above by John at Michigan Nut Photography
Check out the web site for more wonderful photos. The ice cave shown above was in Eben Ice Caves.
These ones are uniquely ours though, so pure and beautiful. The ice blue. I will share a few local pictures. They come from either the newspaper web site or local ones for tourists. The ice caves are just off the shore at Leland and Northport Michigan.
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The snow is so white, and yet within it you see the summer aqua blues and greens.
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Kids are having so much fun exploring, a winter they will never forget


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I think this is another from lake Superior, ice curtains.
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Look.....frozen summer colour
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This year almost all of the entire Great Lakes have frozen over. The ice is so thick that it will be safe for some time yet. People drive trucks and snowmobiles out onto the lake for ice fishing. It takes awhile to walk down to the shore, about 38 mins at a good pace. Then across the ice to where the caves are.
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I am sure the first folks who went to explore had a pretty walk like this. Now there are police directing and parking people because its become the hottest thing since I don't know what
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Before it all froze it was still beautiful like ice sculptures. (Ken Scott)
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This is another of Ken Scott's wonderful pictures. Sunset
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........and another of Leland (Ken Scott)
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I had to show you this one before I go.....frozen weeds
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Not sure I want another winter like this one for some time to come
If you get a chance check out the Facebook page for Ken Scott, its worth a visit. The link it at the top of this post, click on his name there. Thanks also to the other photographers whose pictures I have borrowed. I tried to use my nieces pictures but not sure I managed to get the right ones.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

water in the basement...................

Dan went to the store last night. He returned after maybe 20 mins and announced there was 1/2 inch of water in the basement. There was too............
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The problem is Dan's room is down there. Also my library/bedroom. My bedrooms always have someone in them one way or other. Either the girls (grandkids) are staying over when my daughter works, or my older granddaughter when the weather is bad. So its rather inconvenient.
A pipe in the wall broke. We had to find out where the water was coming from first. The insurance company sent a team over to clean up. They pulled out the carpet and took the paneling off the wall. So.........now we have big fans going to dry off.
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Today Gerry and Dan brought up all the remaining books. The guys from the clean up packed up a lot of them and brought them up yesterday. So then they brought the bookcases. I am sending those over to Laura along with a lot of the books. I have always wondered how I would get rid of the books. Something I could not envision. I love my books. Well.........this was it. 16 boxes so far to Goodwill. Laura took about 6 boxes so far. I still have to go through the boxes that the guys packed up to see if I want to keep any. Its so hard getting rid of them like this. At least the ones Laura has I can borrow. I figure I will replace the others as I feel like reading them again. Till then I only kept a few.
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My house will be a mess for awhile. I have things sitting everywhere. The good side to all this is that I got everything out of under the stairs storage. Also out of the closets. So, my Christmas stuff has reappeared. I can organize it all now. I will find it next year when I want it. That will be sooooo cool.
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Meanwhile my basement doors are off, the paneling on the wall is off and the carpet is gone. There is also a large storage area in the furnace area of the basement. I really want that organized. Now it may be possible.
The homeowners insurance should replace the carpet and then we can paint down there. It will then be a real bedroom again instead of a library. I should be able to find things. It has given me incentive to get rid of a whole load of other stuff that I was procrastinating about.
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This has put a damper on my baking efforts for now but we will get back to that soon. I am excited. Redecorating woo hoo......Every little disaster that comes along has its bright side. You just have to look for it. Maybe this is what I needed to get things moved out of here. I was down there a week ago trying to decide to get rid of craft stuff and that was a fail. I will now go back and be ruthless. Thing is, I can replace everything when I need it. I am always finding things at garage sales to do, or redo. So......maybe apart from my basket of gourds I will finally have the courage to get rid of things. Besides, my basket of gourds will look lovely sitting in a spanking new bedroom. It may take awhile though...............

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Clun Valley.........

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For some reason Laura and I were talking about a camping experience Gerry and I had in England. Two friends of ours, Angie and Jim went on a road trip in our old car. Gerry and Jim were still in the USAF stationed in England. We were newly married and this was a nice getaway for us all. I happened to be about 8 months pregnant but was pretty comfortable with the idea of camping. We selected a tent, quite small but big enough for 2 large sleeping bags. Yeah, we were young we got naked and slept together in the bags. Well we arrived in the Clun valley. We got permission from a farmer to camp in his field. He told us to watch out for the crazy donkey who lived in the field. I think he was pulling our legs. Well.........this tent was supposedly good enough to camp on Mt Everest. I am sure glad we didn't test that theory.
We crossed this lovely little stream by stepping stones and set up camp on the side of the stream. It curved gently around the field and so we found a nice spot by the trees on the banks of the stream.
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I am pretty sure that is the field (above).........we got the tent set up and comfortable. We had a small cook stove, just a gas burner so we could sort of cook. When we got settled in for the night it began to rain.....and rain......and rain. It came through the tent, puddled on the ground sheet. We got soaked. Our sleeping bag got soaked. Remember we are naked. Our clothes got soaked. We had not one dry thing to wear. It thundered and lightened. Next morning finally came. The other 3 went for a dip in the stream that was really a rushing river now. I was NOT going to do that, sorry, at 8 months preggers I had SOME pride.
We put on our wet clothes and packed up the camp.
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That lovely babbling brook was now a raging torrent and twice as wide as when we crossed it to the field.
We had many adventures on that trip........the engine died on our car and we spent a night hovering around waiting to get that replaced. Lucky we did easy enough. We were young and it was an adventure. You should have seen us when the engine was going. By then we were in the Lake District. We just managed to get to the top of one mountain and upon looking back we could see our trail of smoke among the hedgerows for miles back. We coasted down the other side of the mountain and into a small village where we were very lucky to find a small garage that took great care of us.
I am linking up with The Dedicated House Make it Pretty Monday

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Three Years............

Will the time ever come when I no longer keep track of the number of years? Alexandra, I still can not believe you are gone from us. Jason wrote today on Facebook, he still mourns you. As he said you left a hole in the hearts of your sisters, They won't recover, they are damaged now. Both in different ways but there is a change in them.
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The loss is this..........she was difficult, she was immature at 21 and  had so many problems. She was  wrapped up in her self so much. The psychiatrist said she had a personality defect that she could not empathize and was narcissistic. We all knew this but we loved her anyway. What we are missing is seeing her grow and become a woman and we had hoped that she would settle down and become mature. That marriage would be good for her and for Tristen. I am not sure that would have happened. We will never know. Bill is engaged now. The ring he gave her is still on her finger. I helped him to put it there, They had broken up and just got back together. He had not given her back the ring yet. I held her hand as he put the ring back on. She would have liked that.
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I am happy that Bill has moved on, I know how difficult it was for him in the beginning. He has found a lovely lady. She came with him for Tristen's birthday. It's sad but I am pretty sure that Bill will come less often now. It's only natural and really he has no reason to stay in touch with Tristen, even though he wanted to at first. That is life, that's what happens and it is OK. I don't know when they will get married but its another thing that we will never see. Alex as a bride. I do have a picture of her trying on a wedding dress, she was so thrilled about that. That is what she looked forwards to, being the beautiful bride and she would have been.
This is Bill and Tristen
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Being a beautiful bride, that reminded me of a day we went shopping. Danielle and Gabby and Alex, I took them shopping. Among other things I bought Alex a dress and I also bought a pair of heels to go with it. Well she was wearing the dress because we told her how "hot" she looked in it. It was very short and orange frothy material. She looked very very hot, she has very long legs. So meanwhile I followed her over to where she was admiring herself in the mirror and just in time to see her pucker up and kiss herself in the mirror. She had the decency to blush but that was just Soooooooooo Alex. She strutted her stuff through the mall. Danielle kept the dress for the memories. All three of the girls are beautiful, but Alex just had that personality that could not be ignored.
She demanded attention, she was the typical drama queen. It was all about her.
She was also insecure. She would have been amazed at the number of people who came to the viewing. The number of people who loved her. The number of people who still miss her.